In the second of his series for IFA Magazine on the use of video, Dave Inglis of Gadget Line Films talks about how financial planning firms can overcome some of the more traditional blocks involved.
Since our business first started delivering video into the adviser market-place in February this year, we have found that most advisers understand that video is now the communication medium of choice of their audience. The main issue they face is not about video in its own right, but more about how to use video. There are pre-conceptions which seem to be holding many firms back from engaging with this valuable tool and these are to do with websites, costs, production and themes. Adding this up. the totality is that video is seen as ‘out of reach’ – too costly and complex.
In this article, I’ll shed some light on some of these blocks to hopefully get you thinking about how your business could benefit from adopting the use of video.
A powerful communication tool
The first thing I would say is that many advisers view the use of video as something inextricably linked to a website. In other words, if they are going to use video it will be to place it or them, in the case of several videos, onto their website.
Naturally, video is fantastic when it is added into a website, bringing the site to life, adding invaluable SEO credentials and showcasing a firm’s expertise and modernity in a brilliant way. The stats around website viewer habits show that video is far more likely to be viewed than any other type of content.If a website has video it retains site visitors unlike anything else.
But this is not the same thing as saying that video is only for a website, far from it. The videos we produce can easily be stored on a phone, tablet or a laptop. This makes it easy to carry the video around and show it to anyone at any time, for instance in a meeting or at an event, maybe a networking event. They can be shared in a meeting with a professional connection or at a client seminar. Likewise they are easily emailed. They can be built into a client newsletter (if shared electronically).
Importantly, they can be linked to social media feeds. We need little reminding of the difference which video makes to how many people will click on something via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn if it includes video. Video is available to use in so many ways beyond just appearing on a company’s website.
What about production?
Another block is the production side. For many, video seems like a costly and time consuming thing to develop.
That has a large element of truth to it. Although it depends what one means by video. Anyone with a half decent mobile phone can make a video recording by speaking to camera these days. In some arenas this sort of selfie video is actually quite appealing. However trying to present complex ideas about subjects like financial planning, pensions or investments doesn’t really lend itself to this format.
A more professional ‘live’ recording can work although there is considerable evidence from research that this has limited appeal to viewers who are saturated by experts from all corners. Forbes reported recently that this type of video has less than one third of the impact of an animated video.
With animation, there are basically two options, properly crafted and drawn productions or the so-called doodles. These are where you see someone drawing on the screen as the video or story unfolds.
Again the evidence shows that doodles, whilst more effective than head to camera videos still don’t quite cut the mustard in engaging viewers. However because the cost of a doodle can be considerably cheaper than a full blown production these are the most popular type favoured by most firms when they start out with video and do it themselves. The pinnacle for most firms is to get a properly animated, full production video into their branding.
How much will it cost?
However the next block then comes along that stops this from happening – cost. Costs vary depending on a lot of factors, but suffice to say that engaging with animators, voiceover artists and a production team will run into thousands. If you wanted a suite of videos to use with your audience you would almost certainly be looking at a five figure sum.
There is one final possible block, which at first seems innocuous but is actually quite real for a lot of adviser businesses – and that is what to say.
Even if you make up your mind that your business is going to embrace video in all its glory and pay for many animated videos to be produced, there are still the creative questions. What shall we produce? What shall we say? How shall we portray the subject? It’s not easy writing a script or producing a storyboard simplifying financial planning or technical elements such as pensions or tax.
These various blocks explain why – to date – so few adviser firms have genuinely started using video, even though their audience is crying out for it.
We looked at this as we worked with some firms late last year and realised that there was a chance to do something about this. The result was that we created Own Branded Videos, in order to provide firms with a method of dealing with each and every one of these blocks head on.
The financial planning space
If you look at adviser websites, in general the content is broadly similar. Advisers are hardly competing against one another like firms in other sectors.
It struck us therefore that if advisers could get top-notch animated video at a very low price, we could produce and build video which adviser firms simply bought from us. We apply their branding and by doing it this way we can absorb the production cost, thousands of pounds, by sharing the cost across many firms round the country. This brings the cost per video per firm to a few hundred pounds.
Sure firms will have the same video as another firm (albeit with each firm having their own branding applied) but how many of each firm’s audience are going to come across another firm’s video which is the same? Hardly anyone, if anyone at all.
If Coca Cola and Pepsi both produced the same advert it would look very odd, but adviser firms having the same explainer videos is neither odd nor in any way diluting the value of the service they provide to their clients. After all, firms often use the same guides as are produced for other firms, so the idea is hardly new.
That’s why we have produced Own Branded Video because now, for the first time, advisers can get ready made animated video with high production values, tested with real audiences, plus help to introduce the videos into usage.
All blocks are now removed.
Dave is the owner of Gadget Line Films, a specialist video production company.
Gadget Line produce animated videos as part of a joint venture with Independent Check Ltd called “Own Branded Videos”. Independent Check distribute the video into the adviser market. To find out more see http://www.independentcheck.co.uk/own-branded-video/